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Tip for a Successful Retirement: Stay Active
Can you imagine waking up to the sound of your alarm clock only to realize you don't have to go anywhere? Welcome to the joy - although sometimes bittersweet joy - of retirement! Nearly everyone prepares financially for retirement. While that is a very important step, there is more. The key to being happily retired also includes staying healthy and active.

Retirement preparation should always include a game plan of what you are going to do with the time you will now have. While you have worked hard and deserve a break, leading a sedentary lifestyle will not add to your enjoyment or the number of years you have to enjoy your retirement.

Avoid the rut. Turning over in bed instead of getting up to an alarm clock at 5 a.m. can be very attractive the first few weeks of retirement. Enjoy it! Then make a list of activities you have always wanted to be involved in. It doesn't matter what it is, but it needs to get you up and out of the house.

Exercise and nutrition. Start an exercise regimen at your local gym, or rev up the one that you already have in place. Call a friend and make a commitment to walk at least three days a week. Make sure you pay attention to your diet and eat healthy, regular meals.

Redefine your interests.

Traveling, painting, writing, crafting, and gardening may be hobbies you would like to explore. Perhaps you have always wanted to attend classes on a subject that interests you. Maybe you have been wanting to learn to paint or draw. Now you can. If you have always wanted to start a home-based business, now is a good time to give it a try. Just make sure you don't drain your retirement savings doing so.

Exercise your brain. Studies show that brain exercises can add 10 years to your cognitive capacity. Play word games like Scrabble, work crossword puzzles, or focus on problems that require critical thinking.

Travel to other places. Whether with a group, with your family or alone, travel expands your horizons and lets you see life from a different perspective.

Retirement may be the end of an era, but it is not the end. Make the most out of each day!